If the government does not do anything about some petrol pump owners' demands, consumers in few parts of the country could find themselves standing in queues at petrol pumps every Saturday to refill their vehicles.
The Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers, which has called for shut down on every Sunday from May 14, has a presence only in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Petroleum dealers associations such as the CIPD have local presence and are not in a position to pull off nationwide protests. So, essentially, there is no need for consumers to panic.
The CIPD have decided to shut down petrol pumps every Sunday from May 14. They have also decided to reduce operational time and keep petrol pumps open between 9 am to 6 pm to cut costs.
Here are the main points that you need to know about the issue:
- Petrol pump owners are demanding higher commission from oil marketing companies to match their operational costs. The operating costs include, wages, electricity, insurance, water and maintenance, taxes/audit, telephone/bank charges, uniform, printing and stationery, consumables and staff welfare.
- The petrol pump owners also plan to mark May 10 (Wednesday) as a "No Purchase Day" before they start closing down on Sundays from May 14 onward.
- The government has not taken a decision on the issue in which the petrol pump owners are demanding higher dealer commission. State-run oil firms had assured higher dealer commission to petrol pump owners in January to stop their strike.
- According to Ajay Bansal, president of All India Petroleum Dealers' Association, the petroleum dealers association which has called for the shut down has presence only in few states - Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra - and not nationwide. So, it is unlikely to have a country wide impact.
- The CIPD, on its website, says that oil marketing companies have yet not obliged to Apoorva Chandra Committee recommendations, which advises higher margins for petrol pump dealers.
- The CIPD also want their commission to be reviewed every six months due to the ever-changing changing price of oil.